Holiday Celebration Salad with Creamy Beet Dressing

I created this salad for the first time right after Thanksgiving, and I’ve already made it several times since. I was hoping it would resemble a holiday wreath of sorts, and the contrasting colors and shapes made it so much fun to assemble!

Good things happen when raw carrots combine with raw beets, and if you aren’t sure you like beets, this festive salad is a great way to try them. Sweet, crunchy, and surprisingly subtle…raw beets are so unlike cooked beets.

Next, I sprinkled a few fresh cranberries (sliced in halves) over the top. I matched that bit of sour crunch with sweet spheres of fresh juicy pears, using a melon baller for a little ornament effect (or maybe it’s more like lights…you decide!) for the wreath. Use more or less sweet and sour, as you wish, to taste.

Crispy, sweet, sour, and creamy with this beautiful roasted beet dressing. Add anything else you like, too…more fresh fruit, or maybe a sprinkle of raw nuts…to make the perfect addition to your holiday table.

I love adding spiralized English cucumber and Roasted Butternut Squash and Onions, too. All good stuff. Full of classic wintertime flavors, this salad is all dressed up for a holiday buffet.

If you prefer to keep things simple, just slice or dice each ingredient. No need to spiralize, if you don’t care to…it will still be just as delicious.

Hope you like this salad as much as we do – and from my kitchen to yours, heartfelt wishes to you all for a wonderful holiday season and healthy, happy New Year! xo

HOLIDAY CELEBRATION SALAD WITH CREAMY BEET DRESSING

Holiday Celebration Salad

5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
5 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and spiralized
1 small raw beet, peeled and spiralized
large handful of fresh cranberries, sliced in half
1 pear
optional: portion of an English cucumber (about 2-inch piece), spiralized
optional: Roasted Butternut Squash and Onions (recipe linked)

Creamy Beet Dressing

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
1 small roasted beet (about 1.25 ounces)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

Place a small dish in the center of a large shallow salad bowl to reserve space for the dressing. Fill the remainder of the bowl (the large ring shape) with chopped lettuce and spinach. Top greens with spiralized carrots and beets.

Decorate with halves of cranberries, red side up.

Use a small melon baller to create little spheres. Top with pear “ornaments” and (if using) the spiralized cucumber and roasted butternut squash and onions. Set aside.

To prepare dressing, add cashews, water, beet, lemon juice, brown mustard, and seasonings to a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), and process until smooth. Pour Creamy Beet Dressing into small bowl in the center of the salad bowl.

Serve immediately.

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen